Friday 31 January 2014

Luckenbooth Cushion

I have been playing with my new toy, the EQ7 software and it is definitely challenging my poor brain! Still they say that it is good to keep your brain active with puzzles so I console myself with that thought when I am baffled.

One of the things that I wanted to do with the software was create my own patterns for fusible bias applique. I love Celtic Knotwork patterns and would like to recreate them in fabric.

I decided to start off with something easier though :)

Luckenbooth Cushion front
Luckenbooth Cushion

The Cushion applique is based upon the Luckenbooth symbol with two entwined hearts beneath a crown. The Luckenbooth symbol is an ancient Scottish love token, which was often given to brides on their wedding day. There is a legend that Mary, Queen of Scots gave a Luckenbooth charm to Lord Darnley when they married, but as that marriage ended rather violently we will dismiss that as a bad rumour :)

The applique Crown was fused to the background fabric and then blanket stitched, the heart applique was made with bias strips which were also fused and blanket stitched to the background fabric. You can see both of these more clearly below.

Luckenbooth machine applique

I made my favourite button closure for the back as the perfect buttons were just sitting in my button tin waiting to be used!

Luckenbooth Cushion back

They are Japanese shell buttons from Woolmouse , which I bought when we visited the Market Hall in Richmond, North Yorkshire last year. I knew they would be perfect one day!

Whilst the fusible applique was straightforward, the corded trim was a bit of a nightmare! I found the trim in my stash, it must be several years old, but I couldn't have found a better match if I tried. Although I have attached piping on a cushion and bags before, I have never attempted to attach cord and such large cord at that. I discovered that my usual method of attaching with a zipper foot just didn't get close enough to the cord, so when the cushion was turned out the cord tape was still visible. It took another attempt with the piping foot, which was balanced precariously on top of the cord (!), to finally be able to stitch a line close enough that the cord tape didn't show. 

Updated to add that the pattern for this cushion is now available as a free download in my Craftsy Pattern Store

If you have tried something new too this month, don't forget to link up to

The link up closes at 24.00 GMT today January 31st, so you still have time to link up no matter where you are in the world!

There is still time too to link up to the first monthly link party for

One lucky linker will win a copy of Quiet Play and Blossom Heart Quilts Ornamental and Sew Seasonal Bundle, that's 25 patterns up for grabs. So, if you have made a Christmas gift to tuck away for December or finished a Home Decoration project that didn't get finished in time for Christmas 2013, head on over to Mud, Pies and Pins to link up before the link party closes at 24.00 GMT January 31st too.

Finish Along 2014

This is my first finish for the 2014 FAL and we are still in the first month, so I hope that bodes well for the rest of the Quarter!

The me me me bee

It is also another project for the brilliant me,me,me Bee dreamt up by Moira at Kettleboiler to encourage us all to remember to make something for ourselves now and again.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

Button Foodies And Crafties Soiree2Creations by Nina-Marie

Saturday 25 January 2014

New to Me in January

Welcome to the first New to Me in 2014. As you can see we have a new Blog Button to celebrate another year of New to Me.

If you are new to the Link Party, let me explain what it is all about. Every month we celebrate the trying of something new, whether it is a new craft, a new technique or even a new location, if it is New to You link it up!

The emphasis of the Link Party is in the trying so if you have tried something New to You and it hasn't quite worked out for some reason, that's OK link that up too. You never know there might be someone out there who has had the same problem and can pass on some sage advice, but at the very least you will get lots of support and encouragement from your fellow bloggers for having the courage to try in the first place :)

My New to Me's this month are fairly random.

First up, we were guinea pigs for a brand-new cruise ship! It was just as good as it sounds, we were only on the cruise ship for one night but took full advantage of the facilities downing appropriately named cocktails and dancing the night away to duelling pianos!

My second New to Me is my first ever purchase of much lusted after Oakshott cottons :) Thanks to Catherine's need for a partner in crime for her Oakshott shopping, these lovelies came winging their way to me from North of the Border. I am enjoying stroking them for now until I can come up with a master plan for them.

Clamshell with chain

Next up my first ever Clamshell frame purse! There was a bit of brute force required to get the folded edges into the frame neatly, but other than that it was really straightforward to assemble. I will definitely be making more of these :)

And finally, look what I found under the tree on Christmas morning! I am still finding my way around it all, and being bamboozled by all the possibilities in the process, but I can't wait to design my very first quilt. Needless to say I will share it all with you in a New to Me post when it happens :)

Now it's your turn.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Grab button for Celtic Thistle Stitches

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Check out the other links and leave a comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until January 31st so if you found some exciting new tools or kits under your Christmas tree that you haven't even opened there's still time to try them out and link them up :)

Friday 24 January 2014

Clamshell Clutch

I really intended to make a clutch bag for my daughter-in-law to be for Christmas but sadly never found the time. However, the Ho,Ho,Ho and on We Sew Link party launch seems like the perfect time to remedy that omission :)

I have had this clamshell clutch frame in my cupboard for ages and had already cut into the fabric for it when putting together one of Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks.

STAW Rd3 Hive 7 Block 2

So, really it was about time that I knuckled down and made the bag before I found other uses for the fabric.

Lisa has instructions for covering the clamshell frame, so I downloaded them and set to work. I didn't have the glue that Lisa recommended for attaching the fabric to the shell, but hoped that Modge Podge would work just as well. I did have the Gutermann glue that Lisa recommends for attaching the shell to the frame, as I have used this several times in the past.

Clamshell Clutch1

And here it is! The fabric is "in crowd" by Alexander Henry. The clutch only needs two pieces of fabric 6" x 9" for the exterior and two more for the interior, so it would be ideal for that last scrap of a treasured fabric too.

Clamshell Clutch inner

I lined the clutch purse with some 1001 Peeps fabric that I have been hoarding for ages but that really deserved to be used!

As you can see the clutch frame can also have a chain added and fortunately I had a 24" chain lurking in my cupboard too.

Clamshell with chain

So I now have two Christmas presents neatly tucked away for this year. If I keep this up I will be so organised in December I won't know what to do with myself :)

If you would like to be that organised too, join Paula at Mud, Pies and Pins and myself at our monthly link party. You can link up any Christmas or Holiday projects that you have made this month over at Mud, Pies and Pins and be in with a chance of winning the Ornamental and Sew Seasonal pattern bundle from Quiet Play and Blossom Heart Quilts. There are 25 great patterns in the bundle so that should be plenty enough to tackle throughout the year. Paula also has a great tutorial for quick and easy decorations to tuck away for the Holiday season too. The Link party will remain open until the end of the month so there is still time to link up and win those patterns!

Linking up this finish to Crazy Mom Quilts

Linking up this finish to Crazy Mom Quilts

By Stephanie Lynn
ChrisW Designs

Thursday 23 January 2014

A tale of three ships

Last week we visited Southampton to be guinea pigs for a new Cruise ship before it set off on its inaugural voyage to New York. Whilst there we had time to wander around Southampton itself before taking our flight back to the North East.

We followed a guided walk around the Old Town and came across this memorial to the intrepid voyagers of the Mayflower, who left Southampton on the first stage of their perilous voyage to the New World on July 22nd, 1620.

The weather vane on the top of the memorial is a representation of the ship and the sides of the memorial contains plaques commemorating some of the passengers of the ship.

The memorial was a few yards from the Westgate, which the crew and passengers would have passed through on their way to the ship.

Here endeth the first history lesson :)

Closer to the town centre we came across a memorial to another famous ship that sailed from Southampton heading for America. This one, however, didn't quite make it.

Here's a clue if you haven't guessed which ship it is.

And here's the plaque that was next to the fountain.

The fountain was erected to commemorate the passengers and crew of the RMS Titanic who lost their lives when the ship sank on her maiden voyage to New York. The Titanic sailed from Southampton on April 10th, 1912 and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean five days later with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

Here endeth the second history lesson :)

At the time the Titanic was the largest ship afloat, but it would be a minnow compared to the cruise liners of today.

The Norwegian Getaway, which was our home for a day and night, can carry just under 4,000 passengers and with something like 15 restaurants can cater for them too!

One port, three very different ships all heading in the same direction, but with very different outcomes. I wonder what the sailors of the Mayflower would think of their intrepid voyage now being just another stop on the way for the cruise ships of today?

Linking up to 

 Really Random

Wednesday 22 January 2014

And Quilting On!

Having completed the HST BOM this month already, I am all enthused to tick another one of the list!

So this week's sewing has all been about my And Sew On BOM wallhanging. Having decided not to make the final block to have instead a 2 x 4 arrangement of the blocks, I dug out some appropriately themed fabric for the sashing  and some calico for the backing. The back will rarely see the light of day, so it made sense to use a plain, basic fabric for the back.

Apologies for the odd angle of the photo, the quilt is presently draped across the top of the sofa bed in my sewing room, and no I haven't taken to sleeping with my sewing machine!

I have quilted in the ditch around the blocks and straight line quilted the sashing blocks and borders, but now I am a bit stuck. I am not really sure how to quilt the blocks. Whilst quilting the sashing I was watching Leah Day's  Free Motion Quilting Class on Craftsy, so was feeling all ambitious about tackling different Free Motion Quilting patterns in the various blocks, but I am not 100% convinced that that is the way to go, so suggestions would be very welcome :)

Recently, Catherine at Knotted Cotton was looking for someone to go halves with her on a purchase of Oakshott Cottons. Having never bought any Oakshott before, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to experience the loveliness of these fabrics without breaking the bank! This bundle of loveliness arrived in the post this week, and I have been admiring them ever since. Now I know what all the fuss is about, they are just beautiful!

Post of a different kind, but no less welcome, has been pinging into my email all week too. The list of giveaway sponsors for the Ho,Ho,Ho and on We Sew Link party just gets longer and longer!

This month's giveaway is the wonderful Ornamental and Sew Seasonal Pattern Bundle from Quiet Play's Craftsy store

The Link Party is open over at Mud, Pies and Pins until the end of the month so there is still plenty of time to get started on your Christmas and Holiday projects and link them up to be in with a chance of winning.

If you are looking to add some Christmas Fabric to your stash check out the Christmas Sale at the Fat Quarter Shop. Check out too the generous sponsors we have lined up for you in the coming months!

Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop Backstitch - Hemingford GreyBustleandSewPhotobucketPosie: Rosy Little Things Ray Stitch Haberdashery

That's enough WIP's to be going on with for now I think :)

Linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Saturday 18 January 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew

Welcome to the first of our monthly Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Parties.

Every month on the 18th Paula from Mud, Pies and Pins and I will be encouraging you to get ahead for Christmas. We have also lined up a great list of guest hosts to cajole, encourage, inspire and reward you. There will be tutorials for a whole host of decorations and gifts to inspire you along the way, and if that is not enough there will be giveaways too! Look out for great giveaways from these lovely sponsors in the coming months.

                      BustleandSew                                       Photobucket 

This months giveaway is not one but two sets of patterns from Quiet Play's extensive pattern store on Craftsy.
My Photo

The Ornamental and Sew Seasonal Bundle includes 25 patterns, so is definitely an ideal one to start early. There are 12 rotary cut Ornament patterns by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts and 13 paper-pieced patterns from Kristy at Quiet Play. To be in with a chance of winning the pattern bundle all you need to do is link up a Christmas project made and blogged about this month to the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link party. The Link Party will remain open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time left to get your project finished.The winner of the pattern bundle will be drawn randomly from the links posted.

If you are looking for a quick gift how about one of the Infinity Scarf patterns that have been circulating recently?

Infinity Scarf

I made this one from a lilac wool fabric for the exterior and a purple/lilac cotton for the lining. The free pattern is available here One Christmas gift ticked off the list already and it isn't even the end of January!!

If you have resolved to trim your tree with handmade decorations this year you need to check out January's Link Party, which is hosted by Paula at Mud, Pies and Pins Paula is sharing her tutorial for some neat Christmas decorations that will not only help you use up some of those left-over snippets of fabric, but will also have you feeling quietly smug when December rolls around :)

So what are you waiting for head on over to Mud, Pies and Pins and get linking !

By Stephanie Lynn

 Show & Tell Thursday's
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